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The Innkeeper Chronicles, Volume One (2020)

by Ilona Andrews

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Innkeeper Chronicles {Ilona Andrews} (1-3)

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436472,624 (4.59)7
Subterranean Press is pleased to present, from NYT #1 bestselling author Ilona Andrews, an omnibus of the first three novels in the Innkeeper series. Our edition will be huge (over 760 pages), with an original full-color wraparound dust jacket, as well as full-color and black-and-white interior illustrations by Doris Mantair.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
{First 3 of 5; The Innkeeper Chronicles. Fantasy, sci-fi} (2020)

1 - Clean Sweep (2013)

This series comes highly recommended by a lot of other LTers so (despite my first book by this duo not being my best experience - partly due to being from the middle of a series and partly my discomfort with the narrator of the audiobook) I thought I would give it a go. I'm glad I did and I've already borrowed the next book on Overdrive bought the first three books as an omnibus for my Kindle.

Dina is an Innkeeper in Red Deer, Texas which means that she maintains an inn, which is neutral territory, for guests from other planets/ worlds. As an innkeeper her first priority is the safety and comfort of her guests for which she employs her magic (which is sometimes indistinguishable from technology) which is strongest within the property boundaries of the inn. Dina is working to reinstate The Gertrude Hunt Bed and Breakfast after it had been unused for a time; to do so she must maintain the inn and have guests staying there. The inn itself contributes its own magic (such as avoiding potential guests from the local planet) and she has a small shi-tzu called (deservedly) Beast.

In the foyer Arland sat on the loveseat, sipping mint tea. The vampire wore a full set of armor; the breastplate and the raised pauldrons made his shoulders and chest appear enormous. His weapon, a giant blood mace, lay next to him on the floor, its head solid black and crossed by glowing red lines.

When something obviously not of Earth starts killing the neighbourhood dogs, Dina feels obliged to investigate even though the crimes occur beyond the inn's boundaries. And so she has to deal with stalkers, vampires and werewolves among other alien species.

"House of Krahr!" the vampire with the banner barked quietly.

"Krahr," the other four vampires exhaled and glared at me.

Usually they roared their house name at the top of their lungs, trying to intimidate... Oh. They were trying to be inconspicuous. I bit my lip to keep from laughing. I'd never had an attempt at intimidation whispered at me before.

Although there are action sequences, the parts that had me gripped were the ones where the characters exercised their brains rather than their muscles. There were a few funny moments too, which I appreciated.

"Yes, Your Grace." Arland smiled and took a big swallow from his mug.

"I believe I've met your grandfather, the Bloody Butcher of Odar."

"That's correct."

"I remember now. A delightful man, wonderfully dry sense of humor."

Arland blinked. "My grandfather has been called many names in his lifetime. Delightful was not one of them. He remembers you also. You tried to poison him."

Although from Earth herself, Dina is obviously comfortable with the alien worlds and visitors; her parents were innkeepers too so she has grown up with them and she is fully capable of meeting any challenge thrown at her. Although we are occasionally left wondering what something meant, we're not left wondering for long and the information is fed to us logically in bite-size pieces.

The book comes to a logical conclusion but there are some questions left unanswered such as 'What happened to Dina's parents' inn?' that intrigue me so I will continue with the series.

4-4.5 **** stars (21-07-2020)

2 - Sweep in Peace

After Dina's adventures in the first book, the Gertrude Hunt Inn has been upgraded to two and a half stars which eases the pressure on the gang a tiny bit. The inn is not the earthly bed and breakfast it seems but a waypoint for alien travellers whose presence must not be revealed to the locals. Innkeepers such as Dina have magic which is linked to the inn and symbolised by a broom which can transform into almost any other equipment; once off the property, her magical power tails off dramatically. The inn itself is sentient but so as not to fall dormant, it requires guests. Dina has revived the inn, as a means to finding her lost parents who were also innkeepers, but she desperately needs more guests.

To her comes the Office of Arbitration asking if she would be willing to host peace negotiations. The planet Nexus is claimed by three different species, none of them native; the fox-like Nuan Cees who are a blue-furred Merchant clan, the war-mongering humanoid otrakar who live to claim territory and our old friends the vampires (cue Arland of the Krahr) who also live to claim territory. The vampires and otrakars are evenly matched but neither side will back down and so it has turned into a war of attrition with the Merchant clan, on whose land the only working transporter is sited, caught in the middle.

If Dina can pull this off, forty guests will substantially improve the Gertrude Hunt's standing - but she'll have to prevent her guests coming to blows for the duration of the peace summit. I like the way she can use the Inn's magic to expand the available space and tailor the quarters to each species as well as ensure that they are kept apart.

Her 'gang' are Beast, her deceptively cute-looking shi-tzu (so named for a reason) and Her Grace, Caldenia na ma gret, a humanoid alien with a bloody past who is a permanent guest of the inn, Earth being neutral territory. We see two new additions in the form of a cat (currently nameless) and Orro, a hedgehog-like alien super-chef with a drama queen complex.

“Please don’t tell me you’re going to cook that,” I said.
“Of course I’m going to cook it.” He waved the head around for emphasis. “Might I remind you that you’re on a limited budget?”
“What if it’s poisonous?” Jack asked.
“Preposterous!” Orro growled. “This is clearly a Morean water drake.”
He tucked the severed head under his arm and walked into the kitchen, dragging the neck across the floor behind him.
“I shall have to make some preparations as well,” George said. He and Jack left the room.
My legs gave out and I collapsed into a chair. Beast leaped into my lap.
Caldenia looked at me across the room. “So much excitement, and the peace talks haven’t even started.”
I groaned and put my hands over my face.

As before, this novel was fun and enjoyable. I admit that my imagination resorts to children's cartoons to envision the aliens but the illustrations in my e-book are very helpful. Alien politics, visits to alien worlds (including throwing a vampire Marshal into a monster-infested ocean), fights by supernaturally fast beings, magic, family, lots of tea - what's not to like?

There were few universal principles in this world. That most water-based lifeforms drank tea was one.

NB: love the vampires (though I'm quite happy for one not to turn up at my door); they take themselves so seriously but they're a light spot for me.

3.5-4 **** stars (05-01-2021)

3 - One Fell Sweep (2016)
{Third in The Innkeeper Chronicles; fantasy, interstellar politics, romance, adventure}

Dina runs the Gertrude Hunt, an inn on Earth for aliens, and thanks to her previous adventures the inn has increased its ranking to two and a half stars. This time, it's no different. Starting three days after the end of the events in Sweep in Peace the adventures keep coming. First Dina goes off-planet to bring her sister and niece back to Earth and then she welcomes a guest who is one of the last of his kind because a war of extinction has been declared against his species by those from a neighbouring planet.

As Innkeeper, her primary directive is the safety and comfort of her guests while preventing the people of Earth discovering that aliens have been visiting our planet for a thousand years. Dina, the Gertrude Hunt and their allies (including - of course - Sean the werewolf and Arland of House Krahr, the vampire) have to defend the inn's grounds from the assassins sent against him until he can find a new home.

'I know it's a lot to ask with Arland still recovering, but can you hold the inn for several hours?'
Lord Soren squared his massive shoulders and bared his fangs in a happy grin that would give most people a lifetime of nightmares.

And there are some touches of romance.* And Officer Marais, the local cop, gets even more suspicious ... but I should let you read it for yourselves.

I laughed my way through this one. I highlighted so many quotes (on my Kindle) but there are too many to copy them all out. The potential romance triangle is resolved happily on all sides.

* word of warning; the first two books could be considered upper level YA but this one notches up the age level.

5 stars *****

I didn't know where to fit this quote in, but it puts the first one in perspective:

Arland valiantly ignored him. 'I desire a sojourn. A brief respite from the many matters requiring my attention. I do believe I've earned it.'
The russet-haired vampire stepped forward. 'Lord Marshal, your uncle was most specific -'
Arland bared his fangs a little more. 'My uncle is, of course, concerned for my well-being.' ...

...'Yes, my lord,' the russet-haired vampire said, resigned. 'Lord Soren will be delighted.'
Lord Soren popped into my head in all his burly, grim-faced, older vampire glory. 'I didn't know the Knight Sergeant knew the meaning of the word.'
'His grizzled exterior hides a gentle heart.'
Knight Ruin nearly choked on air.


Averaging: 4.2-4.5 stars ( )
  humouress | Jul 21, 2020 |
This book is stunningly beautiful. I ordered a copy the second I heard that they were putting it out. It's the kind of book that deserves pride of place on your bookshelf. If the author/s do anything like this again, I'll be the first in line to order. ( )
  JordanSummers | Mar 31, 2020 |
Ilona Andrews does it again! Another fun filled, action packed, wild ride with a side of romance. ( )
  Lauranthalas | Apr 12, 2018 |
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley. Thanks to the author and publisher. One of my favorite fantasy authors.
3books make up this collection, all with the same setting and lead characters, just one adventure following another. An inn, neglected almost unto death, afraid to lose its new innkeeper but brave enough to fright. Humans, vampires, werewolves finding common cause along with assorted other folk. Lovely villainess of a certain age, who doesn't pretend to be anything else. Dina, Innkeeper, may her power grow. Stories to make you laugh and cry. Read this on a bad day and things will get brighter. Snow might not stop falling, temperature may continue to drop, rivers overflow etc. but for a while you might forget it. ( )
  florabundi | Feb 5, 2018 |
This is an omnibus edition of three previously published volumes that were sold as novels but really seem too short to qualify.

While it is of no use to complain about something that has already happened, here we have an excellent series that suffers from being a collaborative effort. Somehow, although the method used isn't quite clear from the text, these novellas were written using periodic feedback from online readers and others. This is probably the source of the unevenness in tone, and some strange elements that have been being thrown in. In particular, there are random paragraphs of second-rate sensuality in places where they only break the flow of the narrative. There is clunky backstory (you know the kind – everything that has gone before crammed into a single paragraph) added at the transitions between novellas. There grammar errors that should have been avoided ("lay" and "lie" are consistently misused, as are object pronouns). The artwork is saccharine. The list price for the hardcover is crazy.

These negatives aside, the Inns and their Innkeepers are an excellent premise and the series, if handled correctly, should carry us onward for quite some time.

I received a review copy of "The Innkeeper Chronicles, Volume One" by Ilona Andrews (Subterranean) through NetGalley.com. ( )
  Dokfintong | May 31, 2017 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ilona Andrewsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Mantair, DorisIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Subterranean Press is pleased to present, from NYT #1 bestselling author Ilona Andrews, an omnibus of the first three novels in the Innkeeper series. Our edition will be huge (over 760 pages), with an original full-color wraparound dust jacket, as well as full-color and black-and-white interior illustrations by Doris Mantair.

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Meet Dina Demille, a nice Texas gal who runs a seemingly ordinary, quaint BnB. But Dina's inn is a magic, thinking entity; her fluffy Shih-Tzu, Beast really is a beast; and her guests are the kind that no one on earth is supposed to know about: guests like a dethroned galactic tyrant with a massive bounty on her head, the Lord Marshal of a powerful vampire clan, and a displaced—and superhot—alpha-strain werewolf.

So don t expect a normal stay…and don't stand too close, or you may be collateral damage…

In Clean Sweep, Dina—with the unwanted assistance of newcomer (and alpha werewolf) Sean Evans and Arland, a cosmic vampire soldier—takes on an extraterrestrial killing machine that could destroy her Inn, her neighbors, and everything she holds dear.

Sweep in Peace, finds Dina hosting an anything-but peace summit between three warring intergalactic species; Space Vampires, the Hope-Crushing Horde, and the devious Merchants of Baha-char.

One Fell Sweep sends Dina to the galaxy's worst penal colony to rescue her sister; and back home to fend off a clan of assassins in pursuit, all while saving a guest's civilization from annihilation…and searching for her missing parents.
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